In California, just like the Vegas Strip, sidewalk accident claims occur more frequently than we like to see, since they often cause serious bodily harm. Areas in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego and other urban areas. Aftermath of a motor vehicle versus pedestrian crash on sidewalks can lead to serious injuries or death even when the crash was at a low rate of speed.
What the Auto Speed and Impact Studies Show About Injuries to Walkers and Joggers
Studies on accident impact involving pedestrians or runners shows that approximately 75 percent of these crashes happen when the vehicle is traveling 25 miles per hour or slower. The impact between the vehicle and person walking or running can result in various injuries.
Vehicle—Pedestrian Collision Injuries
- Injuries to the Head
There are a number of harm that can occur when a person walking is struck by a vehicle and the leading cause of death in this type of accident is traumatic head injuries. Skull fractures, intracranial swelling, concussions, hematomas, hemorrhages and scalp lacerations are common due to the head hitting either the front, hood or windshield of the vehicle or a hard surface such as concrete of the sidewalk, other objects or ground.
- Legs Injuries
Leg injuries are also common for people walking or running when struck by a vehicle and are a disabling injury. Harm to the legs can include pelvis, hip, femur, tibia and fibula fractures. There can also be soft tissue injuries such as lacerations and abrasions, along with torn knee ligaments.
The Differences in the Injury Causing Vehicles
If the crash involves an SUV or truck the torso is more likely to suffer bodily damage. This damage is often to the ribcage, liver and lungs that can be moderate or severe injury.
- Vehicle—Pedestrian Impacts
Generally when a vehicle and pedestrian crash occurs the driver attempts to brake before the initial impact. When the body is struck by the vehicle it accelerates to the speed of the vehicle and even though the driver has slowed the speed the body does not reduce the speed which it was hit resulting in a forward projection.
When the driver does not attempt to use the brakes or evasive maneuvers to avoid the collision a roof vault interaction can occur, which causes the person walking or running to be sent over the hood of the vehicle and onto the ground behind the vehicle. This is dependent on the vehicle front bumper being lower than the person’s center of gravity. The human center of gravity is located in the area of the bellybutton.
Another type of vehicle and pedestrian contact can cause the person walking or running to be dragged by the vehicle. This happens in cases where the front bumper of the vehicle is higher than the pedestrian’s center of gravity. The impact causes the person to be knocked down with the vehicle either partially or completely passing over the person.
The person can also be dragged before they are pushed to the ground by the force of the impact and is something that can occur at slower speeds. If the person is located more to the side of a vehicle then the contact may result in a fender vault, which can cause the person to be thrown behind or to the side of the vehicle.
California Statues for Vehicle Sidewalk Pedestrian Crashes
In California pedestrians have California Vehicle Codes that protect and drivers are required to follow all traffic laws including driving on a sidewalk. The two that involve pedestrians include California Vehicle Code 21663 and California Vehicle Code 21950 and 21952. These statues include the fact that in California drivers must yield to pedestrians.
Legal Counsel in Vehicle Versus Pedestrian Sidewalk Crashes
Drivers are charged with a duty to drive safely and when an auto swerves or veers onto a sidewalk causing harm to people walking or running they are violating the California Vehicle Codes and can be charged with negligent or reckless driving along with other charges for the bodily harm they have caused including manslaughter or murder in cases where pedestrians are killed.
The Southern California law offices of Ehline Law Firm PC have both the experience and the resources to protect the rights of victims involved in pedestrian sidewalk vehicle collisions in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Inland Empire and other areas. Contact us to discuss your case to learn your legal rights as a victim or the family of a loved one’s wrongful death toll free at 888-400-9721 for a free consultation.